Question about FreeBSD installation procedure

Manolis Kiagias sonicy at
Sat Sep 26 16:42:22 UTC 2009

Bret Busby wrote:
> Hello.
> I have been interested in installing FreeBSD on my laptop (HP/Compaq
> NX5000, 2MB RAM), in a free 20MB partition.

I really hope you meant Gb here ;)

> I noticed that the Linux Format magazine to which I subscribe, in
> Issue 124, comes with FreeBSD 7.2 on the DVD.
>> From what I understand, FreeBSD (and possibly all BSD) uses hard disc
>> slices rather than partitions, and therefore cannot
> easily be installed in a free partition, but needs for hard disc
> slices to be used.

'Slice' is FreeBSD jargon for what Windows / DOS would call a 'primary
partition'. In short, FreeBSD can only be installed in your machine only
if you have free space *and* the possibility to create a primary
partition  in it .  Due to BIOS limitations, PC hardware only supports 4
primary partitions on any disk. 
If you already have 4 primary partitions and you are not willing to
delete one, you can't install FreeBSD as it won't install on what
Windows calls an "Extended partition".  But let's say you have a typical
laptop with two partitions for OS and data, and some free space at the
end. FreeBSD will happily install there.

> Is it yet possible to install FreeBSD into a hard disc partition,
> rather than needing to install into hard disc slices?
> I have attached a copy of the screenshot showing the partition table;
> I wanted to install FreeBSD into sda8.
> Can this be done.
> Thank you in anticipation.

The screenshot won't come through in the mailing list, if at all
possible upload it somewhere and send us a link.

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